Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh hosts “A Celebration of Seeds: 7th Annual Seed and Plant Swap”

Saturday February 23, 2019 in Collaboration with Phipps Conservatory and Grow Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA  –   – 

The time to punctuate winter’s dreary landscape with vibrant plants and integrate homegrown produce back into your recipes has arrived. The annual Seed and Plant Swap at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh features seed stories, conversations with gardening experts, hands-on activities for children and teens, and a selection of free seeds and plants for the public.

Held in collaboration with Grow Pittsburgh and Phipps Conservatory, the free event takes place Saturday, February 23 from 11 am* – 3:00 pm at CLP-Main, 4400 Forbes Avenue, in Oakland.

*Attendees are encouraged to bring seeds to share. Those that do will gain early entry to the swap at 11 am and be entered to win raffle prizes (must be present to win). The swap opens to everyone at 11:30 am.

Workshops on seed starting and seed saving begins at 12:00 pm. Workshop schedule:

Seed Saving Basics (12:00 – 12:45 pm)
Seed Starting Basics (1:00 – 1:45 pm)
Organic Gardening Basics (2:00 – 2:45 pm)

Bring the kids along as hands-on activities will be provided for the younger audience. The Library’s Children’s Department will host activities as will the TeenSpace. If you’re a newcomer to the world of gardening, or someone seeking additional skills, seed saving and gardening experts will be on hand to answer gardening questions throughout the event. Share your Seed Stories and snap a photo using the Library’s mobile photo booth.

“The seed swap is a great place for gardeners of all levels to get together and share stories, ideas, and of course the event will give everyone the opportunity to try their hand at growing something new and exciting!” explains Lauren DeLorenze, Community Outreach Coordinator at Phipps Conservatory.

Rayden Sorock, Community Garden Program Manager at Grow Pittsburgh, notes “Backyard and community gardeners who grow food for themselves and to share can come to this event to share seeds from their gardens, choose new varieties to try this season and get access to seeds they might not otherwise be able to afford.”

Rita Johnson, Librarian at CLP – Main, adds, “Seeds that have been donated by generous seed companies will be available, but we encourage attendees to bring labeled commercial or saved seeds (open-pollinated, non GMO, non-hybrid seed) for swapping if they wish.”

With the Seed Swap, the Library celebrates the seasonal reopening of its Seed Library. “The Seed Library is a source of knowledge and community building using seeds as the catalyst,” Johnson notes. “The Library wants to preserve local garden stories and knowledge while promoting the growth and expansion of a free and regionally adapted seed base as part of our commitment to sustainability.”

Rather than books, residents are encouraged to check out seeds, about 3 or 4 per desired plant. Envelopes and labels to appropriately identify seeds are provided. When checking out seeds, patrons are asked to fill out a member form available near the Seed Library on the first floor of CLP – Main in Oakland. Later in the season, patrons are asked to bring some of their saved seeds back to the Seed Library to share with others.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Seed Library currently has more than 240 registered members. “We encourage them to share their stories,” Johnson says. “Some participants report that they ate more fresh produce from their gardens. Others said that they were able to grow plants from the seeds they borrowed.”

Questions? Please contact Alyssa Kail, Grow Pittsburgh via email at or phone at 412-362-4769 ext 203.


About Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - To Engage our Community in Literacy and Learning

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is supporting individual achievement and strengthening the power of community. Through the community’s investment, the Library is enhancing the lives of people in the greater Pittsburgh region with dynamic and diverse resources such as creative learning programs for children and teens, job and career assistance for our community's workforce, and free computer and Internet access for all. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh builds community, enables learning, provides access and values people.